Francie watched it too, as she had watched the like before, and said nothing, but there was an odd, dull sense of disappointment, and the glory had faded away from sea and sky, spring though it was. Yet there were pressures of the hand in greeting and parting, and kind, wistful looks, as if of sympathy, little services and little attentions, that set her foolish little heart bounding, in a way she was much ashamed to feel, and would have been more utterly ashamed to speak of, or to suppose observed. She only avowed to Anna that it was very warm, weary weather, and that she was tired of absence, and felt homesick, but Aunt Cherry was so kind that she must not be told.
Lady Rotherwood proposed moving away, but her husband and son would not hear of it till their font was finished.
It was not unwelcome to any one of the elder ladies that the young officer’s leave would be over in another week. Geraldine was glad that Francie should be freed from the trial of seeing attention absorbed by Maura, and herself so often left in the lurch, so far as that young lady could contrive it, for though not a word was said, the brightened eye and glowing cheek, whenever Lord Ivinghoe brought her forward, or paid her any deference or civility, were dangerous symptoms. Peace of mind in so modest and innocent a maiden would probably come back when the excitement was once over.
As to Adeline, there was nothing she dreaded so much as the commotion that would be excited if Ivinghoe’s flirtation came to any crisis. His mother would never forgive her, his father would hardly do so; she would feel like a traitor to the whole family, and all her attempts to put a check on endeavours on Maura’s part to draw him on-an endeavour that began to be visible to her-were met by apparent unconsciousness or by tears. And when she ventured a word to her husband, he gruffly answered that his niece’s father had been an officer in the army, and he could make it worth any one’s while to take her! Young lords were glad enough in these days to have something to put into their pockets.
CHAPTER XXX. DREAMS AND NIGHTINGALES
Then in that time and place I spoke to her.-TENNYSON.
of ‘Lacustrian Intelligencer,’
“I told you in my last that the chief boss in the office at New York had written to me that he had been asked to send an intelligent young man to sub-edit the Lacustrian Intelligencer at Jonesville, a rising city on Lake Erie. I thought it would be worth while to look at it, especially as we were booked to give a lecture at Sandusky, and moreover our relations to Gracchus have been growing rather strained, and I do not think this wandering life good for Lida in the long run; nor are my articles paid enough for to be a dependence. So after holding forth at Sandusky, we took our passage in a little steamer which crosses the little bay in the Lake to Jonesville-one of those steamers just like a Noah’s Ark.